Costa Rica is making room for residents of a dozen US states to enter the country. As reported earlier this week, residents of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont will be able to enter the country on Sept. 1.

Now the country has added residents from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, to that group. Then, if all goes well, residents of Colorado, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania will enter into that club starting Sept. 15

Additionally, however, Costa Rica’s government announced the following requirements:

• Proof of negative PCR test results taken within 72 hours (vs. 48 hours) of travel to Costa Rica. This requirement does not apply to minors traveling with their family.

• Residents of authorized US states must be able to show proof of residency through a driver’s license or state ID.

• As of Aug. 31, hotels throughout the country will be permitted to operate at 100 percent capacity, except for common areas, such as restaurants, gyms and swimming pools, which will operate at 50 percent capacity.

"The entry of travelers from these 12 states is allowed because they currently have an epidemiological condition similar or lower levels of contagion to those of Costa Rica," explained Tourism Minister Gustavo J. Segura during an announcement made this Thursday at a press conference from the Presidential House.

The minister indicated that in addition to a driver's license, a state identification will also be allowed as proof of residency in those authorized states. This requirement excludes minors traveling with their family.

Segura noted that travelers from these authorized states will be able to enter the country, even if they stop at an unauthorized destination along the way and do not leave the airport. For example, a tourist who takes a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and makes a stopover in Panama will be permitted to enter Costa Rica.

Another measure just announced is that PCR test results can now be taken within 72 hours (instead of 48) of travel to Costa Rica. This applies to all countries authorized to enter Costa Rica.

The tourism minister said Costa Rica’s opening to international tourism will continue to be responsible, careful and gradual, and will go hand-in-hand with the promotion of local tourism.

“I reiterate the call for joint responsibility to protect people's health, and at the same time, the jobs that we hope to recover. If we all adhere to the protocols, the measures will be sustainable over time,” said Segura.


For people residing in the highlighted US states, four requirements apply to enter Costa Rica:

• Complete the epidemiological digital form called HEALTH PASS.

• Perform the PCR test and obtain a negative result; the test must be taken a maximum of 72 hours before the flight to Costa Rica.

• A mandatory travel insurance that covers accommodations, in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19 illness. Said insurance can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers.

• Proof of residency in the authorized state through a driver's license or State ID.

For those US citizens flying in privately, private flights from the United States will be allowed to enter Sept. 1, but the same requirements will apply. And if they come from a place of origin that is not authorized, they must receive prior approval from the Ministry of Health and the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration.

Private yachts will also be able to enter the country on Sept. 1 provided passengers meet the requirements.

If the maritime passengers do not bring the negative PCR test with them, or if they set sail from a city or country that has not been authorized, they will receive a quarantine health order from which the days they have been at sea will be deducted from the last sailing recorded in the yacht's log. Top harbors for entry into Costa Rica are in Golfito, Los Sueños, Pez Vela, Banana Bay and Papagayo.

Interested parties must send an application document containing the following elements:
Full name of passengers
Nationalities and ages
Legible copy of the biographical sheet of the passport of each of the passengers
Date of arrival, airport of arrival and origin of the flight
Strategic reason for its admissibility (investment analysis; property in Costa Rica; humanitarian reasons; etc.)